Chocó-Darién Conservation Corridor

The world's first community-owned REDD+ project, co-designed and managed on an Afro-Colombian collective territory


The Chocó-Darién Conservation Corridor was the first conservation project in the world to be awarded carbon credits for protecting community-owned forests. Activities are managed by COCOMASUR, a vibrant association of Afro-Colombian families that received land title to the area in 2005. The project protects 13,465 hectares (33,275 acres) of tropical rainforest in the Darién region of northwest Colombia, one of the most biologically diverse regions on the planet.

So far, the project has created over 40 full and part-time jobs in the community, ranging from managerial positions to specially-trained staff. For most of these community members, it's their first time ever receiving wages and benefits through formal employment. Women play a special role in the management of the project, occupying most of the top administrative positions. In 2014, COCOMASUR was recognized by El Colombiano newspaper as one of seventeen exemplary individuals and organizations making a difference in the country.


Emission Reductions

Over 800,000 tons of CO2 emissions from forest clearing and burning prevented during the first 10 years of the project.


Over 60 training events completed for community members in survey analysis, botany, tree measurement, GPS navigation, legal rights, accounting, and leadership coaching.


The project supports a communal fund for medical emergencies, while working to expand access to essential medicines and health insurance coverage.

Endangered Animals

Over 500 species of birds present in the project area, along with 42 endangered animal species and numerous species of rare and endemic frogs.


Over 1,400 hectares (3,500 acres) of lowland tropical rainforest saved as of Dec 31, 2020. The project is adjacent to two UNESCO Natural Heritage sites.

Endangered Plants

Over 180 tree species registered in the project area as well as 86 endemic plant species and 15 endangered plant species.

Economic Development

Project staff are recruited from local villages, a total of 40 full and part-time jobs ranging from managerial positions to community outreach specialists and forest rangers.


The project is managed and implemented in partnership with COCOMASUR, an association of 414 Afro-Colombian families that received collective land title to the project area in 2005.


The project prevents erosion along the Tolo and Tanela river basins, ensuring fresh drinking water for over 1,200 families and 47,000 heads of cattle in the vicinity.


  • Location:
  • Chóco, Colombia
  • Total Area:
  • 13,465 hectares
  • Start Date:
  • Oct 18, 2010
  • Duration:
  • 30 years
  • Developer:
  • Anthrotect S.A.S.
  • Implementer:
  • Partner(s):
  • Fondo Acción
  • Project Type:
  • REDD+ (VM009)
  • Total Offsets:
  • 2.8 million tonnes
  • Average/year:
  • 91,557 tonnes

Interested in carbon offsetting for your company or organization? Download the project summary or contact us for more information.


  • Aurelio - President Aurelio - President, COCOMASUR
  • Everildys - General Coordinator Everildys - General Coordinator
  • Adriano - Carbon Technician Adriano - Carbon Technician
  • Derly - Social Coordinator Derly - Social Coordinator
  • Ferney - Carbon Technician Ferney - Carbon Technician
  • Rosana - Accountant Rosana - Accountant
  • Eusebio - Carbon Coordinator Eusebio - Carbon Coordinator
  • Jennifer - Carbon Technician Jennifer - Carbon Technician
  • Frasier - Forest Ranger Frasier - Forest Ranger


The Chocó-Darién project area is home to over 500 species of birds, including 88 migratory species. The project also protects at least 42 endangered animal species, including Baird´s tapir, the great green macaw, and the Colombian spider monkey.


There are at least 86 species of endemic plants in the project area with 15 endangered species and many more still unknown to science. Priority species for reforestation include:

# Scientific Name Common Name Threat Status IUCN
1 Dipteryx oleifera Almendro Endangered
2 Cedrela odorata Spanish cedar Endangered
3 Caryocar amygdaliferum Almendrón de mariquita Endangered
4 Aspidosperma dugandii Carreto Endangered
5 Anacardium excelsum Wild cashew Near Threatened
6 Cavanillesia platanifolia Cuipo Near Threatened
7 Quercus humboldtii Andean oak Vulnerable
8 Libidibia ebano Partridgewood Endangered
9 Pachira quinata Cedro macho, ceiba colorada, ceiba toluá, ceiba roja, pochote Vulnerable
10 Prioria copaifer Cativo, trementino, canime Endangered